Summerhill is U23 national champion

McDonald and Townsend second and third

Danny Summerhill (Garmin) secured a repeat victory at the UCI Under 23 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships held on Saturday in Bend, Oregon. The youngster finished nearly 20 seconds ahead of his fiercest competitors Zach McDonald (Rapha-Focus) who placed second and Jerome Townsend in third.

“The crowds for the U23 race were great,” Summerhill said. “Along the back stretch we were battling back and forth and there was definitely some hockey game being played but it was good times and Zach’s a great rider. He will definitely have it next year I’m sure.”

The UCI Under 23 men were treated to a sunny break from the early morning’s rained-out cyclo-cross circuit held in the Old Mill District. The cold conditions kept the sun from drying up the water logged course that offered the field a superbly muddy ‘cross experience.

McDonald shot off the starting line straight onto the sloppy course with exceptional speed. By the end of the first lap his lead was so big that it wasn’t far-fetched to think that he could have locked up the victory. But everyone who knows ‘cross knows that winning a race often times depends on the luck and McDonald’s luck ran out when he collided with a spectator on the second lap, losing nearly all of his time advantage.

“A guy and his wife just walked straight onto the course,” McDonald said. “Unfortunately I got decked by a spectator and that’s when Danny caught me. I got hit hard. There were just no course marshals monitoring the course there.”

Summerhill rode in a strong second place and managed to make contact with McDonald half way through the second lap. McDonald continued to lead the pair around the course in a tactical battle for the race win.

A long line of chasers formed approximately one-minute behind that included Townsend, Eric Thompson (Maplelag-Paramount Sports) and Jeremy Ferguson (California Giant Cycling). Slightly further back was Chris Hurst, Steve Fisher (Rad Racing-Hagens Berman), Eric Emsky (Blue Competition Cycles), Nick Keough (Kenda) and Cody Kaiser (Cal Giant).

For the next several laps Summerhill and McDonald rode shoulder-to-shoulder up the steep pitches, the fly over and ran side-by-side up the lengthy set of stairs. Each seemed to be riding at a comfortable speed waiting for their own winning opportunity.

When asked if it was one of his tougher battles, McDonald said, “Yes, probably. Neither of us were really killing it in the middle of the race because we had a gap so we were waiting for the other to make a mistake. Both of us were pretty much waiting for the last lap. I made a couple of mistakes and he pulled away on the straights. I knew I wasn’t coming back. Danny rode a great race.”

The winning move came from Summerhill over the one of the ride-ups located at approximately half a lap to go. His five-second lead turned into 10, 15 and then 20 seconds as he muscled his way to the finish line with a second consecutive Under 23 cyclo-cross national title.

“Zach had a hell of a ride, he was killing me on every technical spot everywhere,” Summerhill said. “We just battled back and forth. I stayed up front on all the straightaways and he would duck around me on all the technical bits. He did a great job.”

Full Results

1Daniel Summerhill (Garmin-Transitions/Team Holowesko Partners)0:49:20 
2Zach McDonald (Rapha Focus)0:00:45 
3Jerome Townsend ( / Joe's Garage / Scott)0:01:08 
4Eric Thompson (Maplelag/Paramount Sports)0:01:51 
5Chris Hurst  
6Cody Kaiser (California Giant Strawberries/Specialized)  
7Jeremy Ferguson (California Giant Strawberries/Specialized)  
8Bradford Perley (Mafia Racing)  
9Eric Emsky (Blue Competition Cycles)  
10Steve Fisher (Rad Racing NW / Hagens Berman LLP)  
11Joseph Schmalz (KCCX/Verge p/b Challenge Tires)  
12Emmanuel Goguen (Team CF-Mass)  
13Patrick Bradley (Rutgers University-Raleigh-Kim's Bike Shop)  
14Clayton Omer (Better Cycling of Louisville)  
15Will Ross  
16Nicholas Keough (Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross)  
17Weston Luzadder (Indianapolis Cycling Club/NUVO Cultural Trail)  
18Zachary Keller (Form Cycles)  
19Andrew Templeton (Team Cross)  
20Kevin Fish (Bicycle Sport Shop)  
21Andrew Bennett (Team Specialized Racing)  
22Connor McCutcheon  
23Adam Miller  
24Trevor Pratt  
25Adam Looney (University of Wyoming)  
26Zeb King  
27Joshua Lehmann (Sunapee Racing Team)  
28Stefan Swecker (TriStar Cycling Team)  
29James McCabe (Colavita Racing Inc./Colavita Racing)  
30Matthew Bathe (Rutgers University-New Brunswick/Piscataway)  
31Benjamin Monaghan (BYRDS)  
32Alexander Vaughan-Ruiz (Major Motion Cycling Club)  
DSQMorgan Ryan (Major Motion Cycling Club)  
DNFJack Mahler  
DNFJesse Keough (Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross)  
DNFLuke Keough (Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross)  
DNFKendal Johnson  

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